Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Julia Ormond, Bill Pullman, Ryan Simpkins, Charles Newmark
Directed by Jennifer Lynch
Distributed by Magnet Entertainment
For several decades David Lynch has delivered some of the strangest and most compelling bits of American entertainment we have ever seen. With Surveillance his daughter Jennifer finds herself in the director’s seat, and let’s just say the apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree.
Out on the highways a series of savage murders have taken place, and it’s up to Federal Officers Elizabeth Anderson (Julia Ormond) and Sam Hallaway (Bill Pullman) to step in and try not only to make sense of the events (because holy shit are they twisted up like a pretzel), but also to shed some light on the true identity of the nefarious killers who — as far as everyone knows — are still very much at large. The only witnesses to these horrid crimes? A slightly crazed cop who lost his partner, a strung-out junkie who lost her boyfriend, and an eight-year-old girl who lost her whole family. Yep, there’s one hell of a bumpy road ahead, and in true Lynch fashion it’s riddled with twists, turns, and lots of uncomfortable oddities.
It’s nearly impossible to discuss Surveillance further without spoiling the movie so let me just say this … the third act of the film will hit you like a speeding freight train full of violence and absurdity. My jaw has been dragging along the floor ever since the end credits began to roll. This is a very smart and extremely taut thriller that knows how to satisfy the old bloodlust. Really good stuff.
The only real differences between the DVD and Blu-ray packages are the picture and sound quality. By now we all know that high definition can make for a better viewing experience if you have the tech so to talk about picture and sound over and over almost feels like we’re beating a really, really dead horse.
In terms of special features, which (in case you haven’t gathered this by now) are identical on both releases, we get a modest but still very good package. There’s a commentary, a making-of, two deleted scenes, an alternate ending, and a five-minute HDNet look at the film. All things considered, if you’re going to check out any bit of supplemental goodness in this package, make it the commentary. The track, which features Jennifer Lynch, Mac Miller, and Charles Newmark, is nothing short of a candid blast among a few people who are very happy to be participating. It’s funny, engaging, wonderfully crude, and also one of the best damned ones I’ve listened to all year.
Though a bit disjointed at times, Surveillance is a well crafted film that will keep you rapt to the very end. Highly recommended for those lookin’ for a quick trip down some brutally dark highways.
4 out of 5
3 out of 5
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